HOTELS: Jumbo Turns Black

Of the world's supply of white elephants, no industry has a bigger share than the U. S. hotel industry. Though queasy strains of albinism began to appear as early as 1925, the industry continued to multiply, ended in 1933 with 85% of its properties in trouble. Today, among some 28,000 U. S. hotels, more are losing money than making it. During 1940, their average return on capital was below 1%; even this was above the average of the past ten years.

With 1,385 hotels and 143,000 rooms to offer, Chicago became the white herd's favorite watering hole. Its Jumbo was...

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